MILWAUKEE – A year ago this month, Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein opened the door for the possibility of then-manager Dale Sveum being dismissed after the season.
The Cubs did indeed fire Sveum, but there’s no such talk this year about his replacement, Rick Renteria. Before the Cubs played the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night, Epstein was asked if Renteria would be back next season.
“Yeah, absolutely,” he responded.
Renteria is 71-88 heading into the season's final series. He signed a three-year deal last winter that also includes two team option years. He’s been credited with setting the right atmosphere for young players such as Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo to have rebound seasons, and he’s set the tone for a group of prospects who have made their major league debuts this year. Communication and development were said to be Renteria's strengths before he was hired, and from all indications he has proved apt in that department.
Epstein admitted last month that he hoped Renteria would grow with the team in the X’s and O’s department, and handling a young pitching staff that has seen a good measure of turnover isn’t easy. As for the rest of the coaching staff, the Cubs say they’ll address matters after the season -- but don’t expect major changes.
“By and large the coaching staff did a great job this year,” Epstein said.
Renteria was asked if there would be any changes to his staff.
“At this point, not that I’m aware of,” he said.